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  1. 1. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade<br /> The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (typically abbreviated GATT) was negotiated during the UN Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization (ITO). GATT was formed in 1949 and lasted until 1993, when it was replaced by the World Trade Organization in 1995. The original GATT text (GATT 1947) is still in effect under the WTO framework, subject to the modifications of GATT 1994.[1]<br />Rounds<br />GATT held a total of 8 rounds.<br />[hide]GATT and WTO trade rounds[2] v • d • e NameStartDurationCountriesSubjects coveredAchievementsGenevaApril 19477 months23TariffsSigning of GATT, 45,000 tariff concessions affecting $10 billion of tradeAnnecyApril 19495 months13TariffsCountries exchanged some 5,000 tariff concessionsTorquaySeptember 19508 months38TariffsCountries exchanged some 8,700 tariff concessions, cutting the 1948 tariff levels by 25%Geneva IIJanuary 19565 months26Tariffs, admission of Japan$2.5 billion in tariff reductionsDillonSeptember 196011 months26TariffsTariff concessions worth $4.9 billion of world tradeKennedyMay 196437 months62Tariffs, Anti-dumpingTariff concessions worth $40 billion of world tradeTokyoSeptember 197374 months102Tariffs, non-tariff measures, "framework" agreementsTariff reductions worth more than $300 billion dollars achievedUruguaySeptember 198687 months123Tariffs, non-tariff measures, rules, services, intellectual property, dispute settlement, textiles, agriculture, creation of WTO, etcThe round led to the creation of WTO, and extended the range of trade negotiations, leading to major reductions in tariffs (about 40%) and agricultural subsidies, an agreement to allow full access for textiles and clothing from developing countries, and an extension of intellectual property rights.DohaNovember 2001?141Tariffs, non-tariff measures, agriculture, labor standards, environment, competition, investment, transparency, patents etcThe round is not yet concluded.<br />Annecy Round - 1949<br />The second round took place in 1949 in Annecy, France. 13 countries took part in the round. The main focus of the talks was more tariff reductions, around 5000 in total.<br />[edit] Torquay Round - 1951<br />The third round occurred in Torquay, England in 1950. Thirty-eight countries took part in the round. 8,700 tariff concessions were made totaling the remaining amount of tariffs to ¾ of the tariffs which were in effect in 1948. The contemporaneous rejection by the U.S. of the Havana Charter signified the establishment of the GATT as a governing world body.[3]<br />[edit] Geneva Round - 1955-1956<br />The fourth round returned to Geneva in 1955 and lasted until May 1956. Twenty-six countries took part in the round. $2.5 billion in tariffs were eliminated or reduced.<br />[edit] Dillon Round - 1960-1962<br />The fifth round occurred once more in Geneva and lasted from 1960-1962. The talks were named after U.S. Treasury Secretary and former Under Secretary of State, Douglas Dillon, who first proposed the talks. Twenty-six countries took part in the round. Along with reducing over $4.9 billion in tariffs, it also yielded discussion relating to the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC).<br />[edit] Kennedy Round - 1964-1967<br />Kennedy Round took place from 1964-1967.<br />[edit] Tokyo Round - 1973-1979<br />Reduced tariffs and established new regulations aimed at controlling the proliferation of non-tariff barriers and voluntary export restrictions. 102 countries took part in the round. Concessions were made on $190 billion worth.<br />[edit] Uruguay Round - 1986-1994<br />The Uruguay Round began in 1986. It was the most ambitious round to date, hoping to expand the competence of the GATT to important new areas such as services, capital, intellectual property, textiles, and agriculture. 123 countries took part in the round.<br />Agriculture was essentially exempted from previous agreements as it was given special status in the areas of import quotas and export subsidies, with only mild caveats. However, by the time of the Uruguay round, many countries considered the exception of agriculture to be sufficiently glaring that they refused to sign a new deal without some movement on agricultural products. These fourteen countries came to be known as the "Cairns Group", and included mostly small and medium sized agricultural exporters such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, and New Zealand.<br />The Agreement on Agriculture of the Uruguay Round continues to be the most substantial trade liberalization agreement in agricultural products in the history of trade negotiations. The goals of the agreement were to improve market access for agricultural products, reduce domestic support of agriculture in the form of price-distorting subsidies and quotas, eliminate over time export subsidies on agricultural products and to harmonize to the extent possible sanitary and phytosanitary measures between member countries.<br />[edit] GATT and the World Trade Organization<br />Main article: Uruguay Round<br />In 1993, the GATT was updated (GATT 1994) to include new obligations upon its signatories. One of the most significant changes was the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The 75 existing GATT members and the European Communities became the founding members of the WTO on 1 January 1995. The other 52 GATT members rejoined the WTO in the following two years (the last being Congo in 1997). Since the founding of the WTO, 21 new non-GATT members have joined and 29 are currently negotiating membership. There are a total of 153 member countries in the WTO.<br />Of the original GATT members, Syria[4][5] and the SFR Yugoslavia has not rejoined the WTO. Since FR Yugoslavia, (renamed to Serbia and Montenegro and with membership negotiations later split in two), is not recognised as a direct SFRY successor state; therefore, its application is considered a new (non-GATT) one. The General Council of WTO, on 4 May 2010, agreed to establish a working party to examine the request of Syria for WTO membership.[6][7] The contracting parties who founded the WTO ended official agreement of the "GATT 1947" terms on 31 December 1995.<br />Whereas GATT was a set of rules agreed upon by nations, the WTO is an institutional body. The WTO expanded its scope from traded goods to trade within the service sector and intellectual property rights. Although it was designed to serve multilateral agreements, during several rounds of GATT negotiations (particularly the Tokyo Round) plurilateral agreements created selective trading and caused fragmentation among members. WTO arrangements are generally a multilateral agreement settlement mechanism of GATT.[8]<br /><br />General Agreement on Tariffs And Trade<br />The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was first signed in 1947. The agreement was designed to provide an international forum that encouraged free trade between member states by regulating and reducing tariffs on traded goods and by providing a common mechanism for resolving trade disputes. GATT membership now includes more than 110 countries.<br />Consideration of GATT's relationship to environmental policy is an emerging concern in trade and environmental policy circles. Until the recently concluded Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations, the word environment did not appear in the GATT text. Several provisions and sections of GATT may be relevant to environmental issues, however. The following sections of GATT are often referenced in the examination of trade-environment issues. The excerpts are from GATT as amended through 1966, originally digitized by the Multilaterals Project of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University:<br />Article I General Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment; <br />Article III National Treatment on Internal Taxation and Regulation; <br />Article XI General Elimination of Quantitative Restrictions; <br />Article XIII Non-discriminatory Administration of Quantitative Restrictions; <br />Article XVI Subsidies; <br />Article XX General Exceptions; <br />The GATT Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round contains several other relevant items:<br />the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; <br />an Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures that permits some environmental subsidies in section 8.2; <br />and the Agreement Establishing the Multilateral Trade Organization. <br />The complete Uruguay Round text is also available on-line. Explicit environmental concern related to GATT has grown in the last few years. Although formally organized in 1971, a GATT committee on environment met for the first time in 1991. Also in 1991 a GATT dispute-resolution panel made a ruling in the tuna-dolphin case, a dispute between the United States and Mexico over limiting imports based on fishing practices. Issues in the tuna-dolphin dispute are described by Cough (1993) in "Trade-Environment Tensions"; in the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment (1992) report Trade and the Environment; and in the GATT dispute panel report (1991) on the case. In 1992, GATT produced "Trade and the Environment," a report that offered GATT's recommendations on the relationship between international trade and environmental measures.<br />The recent cases, the 1992 report, and growing international consideration of the relationship between trade and environmental policy have focused attention on GATT's influence on international environmental agreements. In some ways, GATT is seen as potentially limiting or barring trade provisions in environmental agreements. Environmental, legal, and other experts have also called for reform of GATT to accommodate international concern for environmental issues.<br />Charnovitz (1992) examines the potential of GATT to limit trade-based implementations in environmental agreements in "GATT and the Environment." In "Free International Trade and Protection of the Environment," Schoenbaum (1992) evaluates the impact of existing GATT provisions and discusses when trade restrictions may be appropriate within environmental agreements. Weiss (1992) comments on Schoenbaum's article in "Environment and Trade as Partners in Sustainable Development," suggesting that global consensus on sustainable development as a guiding policy principle has added weight and priority to environmental concerns in relation to trade policy.<br /><br />What Is GATT - General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade<br />Definition: The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provided global trade rules as well as a framework for trade disputes from 1948 to 1994. It was one of three Bretton Woods organizations developed after World War II. (The others were the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.) The goal of GATT founders was to liberalize world trade, specifically by reducing protective tariffs. The first round of negotiations impacted one fifth of world trade; there were 23 founding members. The eighth and last round -- the Uruguay Round of 1986-94 -- led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a new set of trade agreements. Corporations often argue for more open trade in order to have access to new markets. Labor often argues for trade restrictions in order to protect domestic jobs. Because trade agreements must be approved by governments, this tension sets up political conflict.<br />